By Morning LightbyAriane©
Ardeth gave her a smoldering look and one of those shiver-inducing predatory smiles curved his full lips... and despite having just been thoroughly satisfied, she was momentarily caught by the thought of what he could do with those lips to her.
"Anytime, Habiba... anytime."
Then his expression changed, a curious mingling of vulnerability and the more accustomed self-assuredness that at times bordered on arrogance. A fine tension invaded his muscles and he caught her fingers, pressing them to his lips before folding them in his hand.
"Did you mean it?"
She touched his face, cradling his cheek in her palm.
"Yes, I did... every word."
A shudder wracked through him, and for a moment he seemed to lose the power of speech. Then with a rough sound, he gathered her close, closing his strong arms around her, arms she held onto tightly. He claimed her, and she him in their embrace, as Ardeth was the first to speak this truth;
"You are mine now; mine is the only body to give and take pleasure from yours. Forever, Angelina."
He murmured the fact, his voice colored with fierce possessiveness and equally fierce joy. A great burst of love swept over her; so intense that she almost cried out...almost. Instead, she pressed her face to his neck, inhaling the warm, familiar scent and whispered that she loved him. His arms tightened around her and she felt him nuzzle her hair, returning the words again and again, his voice low and rough... as if once having spoken them, he couldn't stop. His heart beat strong and steady under her cheek, and she couldn't seem to stop touching him.
"I know you cannot leave your work here in the city; we will work it out," Ardeth murmured, enjoying the soft, vibrant feel of her. His need to touch and be touched was just as acute, and he let his hands roam over her satiny skin. Living in the desert, patrolling from one distant location to another, he was accustomed to going without the softness of a woman... but once a man had felt that special softness in his arms, the memory lingered... and, Bis'mil'Allah rakhman el Rahim if it wasn't the easiest thing to get used to; to expect to have each night when he found the one woman who completed him.
"There is no need for decision now, Habiba. Or tomorrow. Duties may await, but I promise you this; I'll not ask from you more than you can give."
Reality intruded, in the form of loud, insistent knocking on the bedroom door and the voice of her housekeeper, reminding them that Angelina was expected at the infirmary this morning. She looked at Ardeth, torn. By dawn's early light...a waking not welcome.
"I don't want to leave you, not yet... but Mawiyah Amani won't be here much longer."
A few short hours would see Ardeth riding out of Cairo, and an undetermined amount of time would pass before she would see his beloved face again... But she also did not wish to miss the opportunity to learn from a most honored and skilled Medjai healer who practiced the old ways, and who would be returning to Aswan, to her tribe, in a few days' time, escorted by some of Ardeth's own men. It seemed to always be like this, this or that separating them... as long as her life remained in Cairo, and his in the desert, it would be so; she had known it from the beginning, and accepted it. What is, is... but there was no law, spoken or unspoken, requiring that she like it.
Ardeth rose gracefully to his feet, naked and powerful... a familiar, if always breath-taking sight, and Angelina found herself staring at him with nearly painful, frank female appreciation even as her mouth went dry and her pulse began the slow throb of arousal. He always seemed to have this effect on her, now - the long hours in bed with him did not sate the hunger... they made it grow, until loving him was as necessary and natural as air. As if it sustained life more than merely heightening it.
"I know, muHabb... Come, let's shower, and have breakfast."
Angelina allowed him to pull her up and guide towards the bathroom, her heart beginning a heavy beat of anticipation. His eyes darkened, and he stroked his hand down her back to her buttocks, his touch warm and intimate, promising.
"And then I shall accompany you to the infirmary."
~ FINIS ~
Habiba - Beloved, said to a woman
Bis'mil'Allah rakhman el Rahim - In your name, most compassionate God have mercy on me. Literally "In the name of God, who is most merciful have compassion"
MuHabb - My love, said by a man
Stories in the series:
Ardeth & Angelina Series #1 Desire
Ardeth & Angelina Series #2 Behind Closed Doors
Ardeth & Angelina Series #3 By Morning Light
Ardeth & Angelina Series TMR #1 Sanctuary